Venice, California Street Art

Venice, California Street Art

“I spray the sky fast. Eyes ahead and behind. Looking for cops. Looking for anyone I don’t want to be here. Paint sails and the things that kick in my head scream from can to brick. See this, see this. See me emptied onto a wall.”Cath Crowley

When I walk down the streets in Venice, California there is everything from simple tagging to beautiful complex scenes. I always see art- despite the sometimes rough locations. Cities are the best art galleries to me. When I am looking at freedom of expression or paid murals, I am forced to acknowledge their existence. It is color and expression instead of drab walls. I  have always felt  – better spray cans then guns. Here are some examples of art that I see every day.

Fly safe,

JAZ

 

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Street Art Around The World

Street Art Around The World

“I laugh at the way some people think graffiti is all selfish tagging and vandalism. Thoughtful street art is like good fiction – it speaks out on behalf of everyone, for us all to see.” Carla Krueger

Since cave painting, human beings cannot resist the urge to draw and write on walls. It is my favorite art. I am drawn to the bright colors, the fact that it is available to everyone and especially, the mystery. Who did this? Why? What does it mean? Sometimes I see the same artist in different countries. Here are some favorites from around the world. 

Lisbon, Portugal

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Capetown. South Africa

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Tel Aviv, Israel

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Bogota,Colombia

Los Angeles, USA

Melbourne, Australia

Rio, Brazil

Fly safe,

JAZ

Just A Lot Of Walls – Urban Art In Lisbon

  Just A Lot Of Walls –  Urban Art In Lisbon

“I was here but now I’m gone. I left my name to carry on. Those who liked me, liked me well. Those who didn’t can go to hell'” The bathroom wall

Like any subculture, street art has its own slang. You don’t need to know it to appreciate the art but some words that pop up are spot jocking (putting your work up next to a popular artist for some attention), child style, tiling, (both self-explanatory ), reverse graffiti (creating art by taking off and not applying paint) and one that I heard a lot on my street art tour of Lisbon – intervention. (Sainer)

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It’s not a word I hear often unless it involves rehab. Intervention is a street art term used to disrupt public space as opposed to street art which is decorative. My  street art guide in Lisbon used the word  as a form of urban  artistic expression. Art intervention is art specifically designed to interact with an existing structure.  I guess with that definition  all street art can be called an intervention.

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The only street art tour I could find was a private tour given by the street art collective Underdogs. http://www.under-dogs.net/ They have a gallery with exhibitions of interesting street artists, affordable editions at their shared store space, and public art and community programs. They do not do group tours  and instead invest their time in promoting artists and art  education in the community. (Bicicleta Sem Freio)

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My tour guide Marina Rei shows up full of passion and enthusiasm for the art on the streets of her city.  She is excited about the artists in residence and the educational programs  she has just completed.

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Underdogs was started by a famous Portuguese street artist named Vhils.  The word underdog means to struggle against something more powerful than you. They are “underdogs pushing to be top dogs .”  (Vhils)

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The tour includes works by Alexandre Farto AKA Vhils, PixelPancho, How & Nosm, ±MaisMenos±, Finok, Okuda, Nunca, Clemens Behr, Bicicleta Sem Freio, Wasted Rita, Sainer and Ernest Zacharevic. (Clemens Behr)

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Their souvenir shop and offices share space with a paint store. Classic artists, students, serious street artists and vandals come to buy their paint. ( ±MaisMenos±,)

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Their art gallery is in an old warehouse area just starting to be gentrified. The current exhibition is by Spanish street artist Okuda.

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Street  Art started in Lisbon around 1974 when the Carnation Revolution overthrew the Authoritarian regime. Almost all  the territories became  independent.(A Lei Do Meis Forte -Nomen, Slap ,Kurtz, Exas,Lukas)

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Graffiti and tagging began with the new democracy. (Merkel’s Puppets -Nomen,Slap,Kurtz)

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Murals appeared around the city similar to those in unstable South American countries portraying the problems and the dreams. There are still references to it throughout the city.

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The old warehouses of Clube Naval de Lisboa,  are now covered in a work of art by Bicicleta Sem Freio, a group of Brazilian artists. They create murals around the world.

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My favorite work that I saw that day  was a series of girls  by Lithuanian street artist Ernest Zacharevic. He sees himself as a fine artist who paints in the streets and that is evidenced by the combination of spray paint and detailed art.  I really wanted one of these. The last time I thought about cutting a piece of street art out of the wall it was by a guy named SAMO in New York. 

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The  outdoor walls in Lisbon have become a lot of blank canvases for the artists. It is sometimes  a strong form of communication and sometimes it is quieter.  But, there is always a splash of color.

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Fly safe,

JAZ

Street Art In Lisbon -Portuguese Pavement

Street Art In Lisbon  – Portuguese Pavement

“Where utility ends and decoration begins is perfection.” Jack Gardner

If you read my blog, you know I am a fan of street art. Lisbon is no exception. There is very interesting urban art but there is  also calcada portuguesa .They are street tiles painstakingly laid down by hand in a variety of mosaic patterns throughout the city. It started in the mid nineteenth century and can be seen in the historic parts of Lisbon.

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Fly safe,

JAZ

The Time Is Ixnau – Street Art In Capetown, South Africa

The Time Ixnau  – Street Art In Capetown, South Africa

“Graffiti is beautiful; like a brick in the face of a cop.” Hunter S. Thompson

Woodstock is a creative changing area of Capetown.

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After enjoying lunch and shopping at the Old Biscuit Mill, (a Saturday market of food, crafts and neighborhood goods) I took a street art tour with Juma Mkwela a  local street artist and guide.juma.mkwela@gmail.com. 

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Juma was born in Malawi and lived in Zimbabwe. He is now an established Capetown street artist and craftsman who leads  walking tours of the murals in Woodstock.

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Woodstock is a canvas for some interesting street art.

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The area where the artists paint is a little poorer and rougher but there is gentrification going on all around.

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Juma is friends with everyone so there are no safety worries when you are with him.

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International street artists such as  Masai (UK), AEC Interesni Kazki (Ukraine), Pure Evil (UK), Remed (Spain), Gaia (USA), JAZ (Argentina), Know Hope (Israel), Makatron (Australia) have painted here.  (interesni Kazki – Ukraine)

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There are also murals by Cape Town based artists including Faith47 (ZA), DALeast (China), Urbanski (Germany), Freddy Sam (ZA), Nard Star (ZA) and Indi Go (Canada) and Kasi. (Kasi, Nard Star)

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The artists  showcase issues such as the rich poor divide,  climate change, the poaching of endangered wildlife and exploitation of the  natural resources (such as diamonds).

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They need permission from the residents to paint on the walls.

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Street Art has a historical meaning  in South Africa because during Apartheid it was one of the  ways people had to express their anger.

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It was a visual act of defiance and rebellion.

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Socially conscious artists from South Africa and beyond have joined forces to help spruce up, and add color to the  poorer parts of this neighborhood.

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The philosophy behind the murals is motivated by the belief that art can aid in the social and economic regeneration of dilapidated, gang blighted urban areas.

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Fly safe,

JAZ

Walking Alone – Street Art In Amsterdam

“Art is an evolutionary act. The shape of art and its role in society is constantly changing. At no point is art static. There are no rules.” Raymond Salvatore Harmon

Street art in Amsterdam is more satirical and fun then the street art in Third World countries.

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It is much more accepted and looked at as art not vandalism.

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Amsterdam doesn’t have as much street art as Paris , London or Berlin, but if you have a good guide you will find it.

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It is not that hard to find nice street art in Amsterdam.

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Nicole at http://www.streetarteurope.com/street-art-amsterdam-tour/ does an interesting comprehensive, reasonable priced group tour of Amsterdam street on Sundays.

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I had actually never done a group street art tour because it never fit into my schedule in a city.

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It was interesting to see the range of people who were interested in street art.- an older couple from Belgium, middle-aged couple from Shoreditch,who were very proud to be where Banksy was from, and  people from Canada and the States who were living in or visiting friends in Amsterdam.

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Nicole is self taught and passionate about street art. She knows a great deal about the art and the artists and has made a career from her passion and knowledge curating street art in Europe. It is nice to have a tour with someone who clearly loves it as much as the people who signed up for the tour.

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Good street art will tell you a lot about the people who live there.

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C215, Alice Pasquini, Space Invader, The London Police, Shoe, Faile, Icy & Sot, Bustart, Zaira, are all showing in the streets of Amsterdam.

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The London Police are a British street art collective currently painting all over  Amsterdam.

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I loved seeing Icy and Sot’s boy Walking Alone in different places in the city. It was like running into a friend. He is all over Europe now and for some reason he reminds me of the refugees and how lucky I am.

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Laser 3.14 is a street poet whose words are found all over Amsterdam on temporary surfaces only.

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There is a lot more street sculpture in cities around the world these days.   They are usually small and easy to miss without a guide.

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Invader is a street artist known for creating tile pieces that are out of video games.

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He created an app called Flash Invaders that gives you points for finding his work all over the world. He has made a game out of the hunt for street art. Nicole is doing well. I just saw a huge one on Beverly Blvd in LA.

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Street art started as a creative outlet but has turned into a legitimate business with tours, galleries, books, design, fashion and art.

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It definitely has more of an art movement feeling in European cities than the protest feel of South American countries.

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Street art is always beautiful, funny, moving and in this moment in time.

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Fly safe,

JAZ

Street Art In Brazil

Street Art In Brazil

“Speak softly, but carry a big can of paint.” Banksy

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You don’t have to look for street art in Brazil because in cities like Rio and Sao Paulo, you will see it  every where. (Sao Paulo)

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It is part of the Brazilian culture now and a big influence on urban art throughout the world. (Sao Paulo)

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Urban Art In Brazil falls into two categories – street art for everyone to see and enjoy and graffiti writing which seems to be for other graffiti writers – with coded tags, style of letter and specific color palettes. Graffiti art has rules, specific use of materials (almost always spray paint), easy recognizable styles and a history. (Sao Paulo)

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Street art uses many different materials (paintbrush, computer generated images and spray paint). (Sao Paulo –  Beco de Batman)

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Street art engages us as we walk or drive by and see something beautiful, sad, funny or painful. (Sap Paulo)

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Graffiti art always seems like personal message that we are seeing.

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Both are subversive art movements where work is displayed in a public setting for a brief period. (Rio)

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It is always the knowing that it wont be there the next time I come that makes it more special to me – that it wasn’t painted to be there forever. (Sao Paulo)

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Tagging is different from graffiti. It is known in Brazil as pichacao. (Rio)

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The tagger wants to see his name on a wall and has no interest in aesthetics. It is all over Brazil as well. (Rio)

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Brazil’s street art is very diverse and always willing to challenge the political, environmental and social climate. (Rio – Lapa)

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Urban art is different in Brazil then in other countries because it is everywhere with an abundance of styles, colors and techniques. (Sao Paulo)

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In March 2009, the Brazilian government passed a law making street art and graffiti legal if done with the consent of building owners. (Sao Paulo-Kobra)

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It is all around from the favelas to the upper class neighborhoods with consent or without. (Rio)

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The walls that exist all over the cities whether urban topography or security provide huge spaces for painting. (Sao Paulo)

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The cities of Brazil are a giant canvas for the self-expression of their artists. (Sao Paulo)

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Obrigada and Ciao,

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JAZ